(WHDH) — The World Health Organization is reminding the public how to properly wash their hands as the threat of coronavirus continues to spread across the globe.

Top health officials on Wednesday warned Americans that the outbreak of the new respiratory virus that’s sweeping the world will inevitably reach the United States.

Symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, according to the CDC. Reported worldwide illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, typically between people who are in close contact with one another and via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Routinely washing your hands can be an effective way to combat the virus.

“Hand hygiene, either with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub, is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading infections to others,” WHO said. “Indeed, hand hygiene is an easy, inexpensive, and effective means to prevent the spread of germs and keep everyone healthy.”

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WHO also compiled a helpful list detailing when you should clean your hands:

  • BEFORE, DURING and AFTER preparing food
  • BEFORE eating food
  • BEFORE and AFTER caring for a sick person
  • AFTER using the toilet
  • AFTER changing the diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • AFTER blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • AFTER touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • AFTER touching garbage

Click here for more information on the coronavirus and tips on how to protect yourself.

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